As the countdown to seasonal specials begins, Brits are gearing up to watch a total of 296 million hours of TV per day over the Christmas period.
According to research from programmatic technology experts RadiumOne, Brits over 16 will watch an average of 5.7 hours of TV a day this Christmas across various screens, with a square-eyed one in five (21 per cent) planning to spend over ten hours a day watching TV programmes. Men (6.0 hours) will average more than women (5.3). TV viewing decreases with age – from 5.9 hours for 16-34s to 5.4 hours for people over 55. Regionally, people in the South-West will average the most (6.3), those in the East Midlands the least (5.1). Over two thirds (67 per cent) plan to watch more TV over the Christmas period than we do at other times of the year, with 25-34 year olds (82 per cent) and those living in Wales (81 per cent) and the North East (77 per cent) the most likely to increase their usual viewing habits. Upping TV viewing increases with income, from 59 per cent of people earning under £20,000 (€28,000) to 80 per cent of those on at least £60,000.
Almost seven in 10 (68 per cent) people say the TV set will be the only device on which they’ll watch TV over Christmas. However, 30 per cent will use some form of connected device to watch TV; laptops (19 per cent) being the most popular ahead of tablets (11 per cent), desktop computers (10 per cent) and smartphones (9 per cent).
Limiting oneself to the TV set increases with age – from 36 per cent of 16-24s to 88 per cent of people over 65. Conversely, reliance on the TV set only decreases with income, from 75 per cent of people earning less than £20,000 to 51 per cent of those on at least £60,000.
Regionally, the North East (78 per cent) will be the most reliant on just their TV set, whilst people in London (49 per cent) will be the least reliant.
Multi-tasking will be popular, particularly amongst young people: seven in 10 (69 per cent) tablet and smartphone owners expect to use these devices whilst watching Christmas TV, rising to 83 per cent and 89 per cent, respectively, of 16-24 year olds.
Nearly half (48 per cent) of us will spend more time online over Christmas than we do the rest of the year. People aged 25-34 (67 per cent) and those living in London (60 per cent) are the most likely to up their internet use over Christmas.
“Gathering in front of the TV set is as much a part of the shared Christmas experience as the turkey dinner, presents and the tree,” says Mark Middlemas, RadiumOne’s Director of Communications. “However, digital technology is fundamentally changing TV behaviour and this part of the shared experience. Connected devices will play a major part in the huge amount of TV to be watched but will result in less of it happening as a group crowded round the TV set. Instead, we’ll see Christmas TV increasingly consumed individually around smaller, more personal screens.”